Roman Reigns, Roman Reigns, Roman Reigns. I’m sick of hearing about Roman Reigns. It seems like that’s the only thing that people have been able to talk about lately, myself included. At the end of the day, the guy has been the focus of WWE for months now and it can get annoying seeing things over and over again with almost no reprieve. Therefore this week, we’re going to look at something else besides Reigns being shoved down our throat. Instead, this week we’re looking at the Authority and authority being shoved down our throats, because that’s a totally and completely different topic.
While the Authority formed the night after “Summerslam 2013”, we need to go back to the late 1990s to look at a quick history of heel authority (as opposed to Authority) figures. Of course the first major evil boss (in the WWF that is) was Mr. McMahon, who turned heel after the Montreal Screwjob and went to war with Steve Austin on and off for the next three years, driving the WWF to heights no one ever believed possible.
The basic idea was very simple: take your top good guy (or guys) and put them against a corrupt authority figure. Vince vs. Austin took place starting in the late 1990s and the idea was then repeated something like 8274 times over the next twelve years or so. This idea has been done TO DEATH and the general consensus seems to be that fans are sick of it. Occasionally you’ll get a decent version of the idea, but the basic idea is that the idea needs to be retired.
Now we’ll jump back forward to the Authority, who have been around for a good while. They started the night after “Summerslam 2013” and lasted all the way until “Wrestlemania XXX”, where Daniel Bryan beat both Triple H and Randy Orton in one night to win the WWE World Heavyweight Title. The following night on “Monday Night Raw”, Triple H seemed to join up with Orton and Batista to reform Evolution (officially reforming soon thereafter) for a feud with the Shield. Evolution lost the feud and Batista left the company, but Triple H just went back to Authority mode like nothing ever happened.
The Authority then brought in Brock Lesnar to take the WWE World Heavyweight Title from new champion John Cena, setting up a feud between Cena and the Authority. This led to “Survivor Series 2014” where Sting debuted and helped Team Cena defeat Team Authority to eliminate the bosses once and….not for all.
Before the match, Vince McMahon added a stipulation: only Cena could bring back the Authority if need be. What could have been a long, drawn out absence lasted a total of four weeks. The Authority appeared on “Monday Night Raw” dated November 24, 2014, missed the next four weeks, and showed up again on “Monday Night Raw”, December 29, 2014, back in full power thanks to Seth Rollins threatening to cripple Edge.
Flash forward to this past Monday on “Monday Night Raw”, February 2, 2015. The Authority was all over the show, making the lives of Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan and Ryback miserable. These three had a hand in getting rid of the Authority for all of a month and have since been made miserable, fired, rehired and made miserable all over again.
That story with Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback sums up the Authority as a whole: it’s running around in circles with no end in sight. Where is the Authority’s final ending and their comeuppance? Yeah they were knocked out for a month, but the ending saw them come back with Cena having to do what he swore he would never do but the Authority swore he would do. In other words, the Authority is right and has the power all over again.
This has happened more than once over the years. It seems that the Authority might have a few hiccups here and there, but almost every single time they’re going to come back stronger than ever and never get the big ending. I mean, was there any reason for them to come back so fast after their loss at “Survivor Series 2014?” It’s the same story over and over again, which is the same case for almost all authority stories.
Why do we need heel authority figures all the time anyway? Or any sort of authority figure for that matter? As usual, look back to NXT. They have an authority figure in William Regal and he’s barely ever on television. He shows up, makes a match, settles arguments, or changes part of the show and is usually gone inside of two minutes. Fans don’t need their hands being held throughout a show and they don’t need authority figures as characters.
Back to the Authority, when they’re eventually about to be wrapped up, why should I believe them? I sat through a month of build up to the Survivor Series match and then the fallout lasted a month and now seems like it never happened. The Authority is back in full power and are abusing their power, so why should I care if they’re threatened again?
Instead of making them interesting characters and someone I should want to see gone, I just don’t care at this point because there’s almost no reason to believe they’re ever leaving. If they do, it’s likely due to Vince’s interference as he’s WWE’s deus ex machina most of the time. The Authority has already overstayed its welcome, but to be fair the welcome for characters like them ended about twelve years ago.
This past week’s episode of “Monday Night Raw” reminded me of why I can’t stand the Authority or characters like them in general. They don’t add much to the product other than a way to set up matches, which could be done by an unseen and unnamed force, and introduce issues, which could be done by almost any character on the show.
That’s the other major issue with them: they aren’t needed. It feels like a way to keep Triple H and Stephanie McMahon on the show because we wouldn’t know where to go without them holding our hand. Look back to Jack Tunney: he would show up every now and then, do one or two things and then go back into the shadows. In today’s time, the Authority gets to come out and talk for twenty minutes a show and make it all about them instead of letting us get on with the show, which is the whole point of watching.
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